Running 5 spinning mills with total capacity of 150 tonnes yarns per day, the Jamuna Group is adding one more spinning unit of 1,00,000 spindles. A vertical setup from spinning to knitting, to denim fabric manufacturing and finally garmenting, both knitted and woven garments, Jamuna Group is a self-contained business entity. “When my father Md. Nurul Islam, the Chairman of the Group, got into textile business he always thought of going vertical and being self-reliant from yarn to fabric to garment manufacturing,” says young Sumaiya Rozalin Islam, Group Director, Jamuna Group who joined her family business in 2007 after completing her Masters from Australia. The construction of the unit would be starting in the middle of this year.
The Group is producing cotton, mélange, viscose and open-end yarns, besides all kinds of yarns for denim, knits and terry towels. In 2004, the company ventured into denim fabric manufacturing and its present production capacity is 1.5 million yards per month. “We are producing rigid, stretch fabric and slub denim fabric starting from 4 ounce up to 14.5 ounce,” shares Sumaiya. Subsequently, the company started its denim garmenting unit in 2005 and presently it has 36 lines with in-house washing and finishing facilities. Though preferring to stick to volume business, a few lines have been dedicated to value added products. “I can’t run my whole factory with only value added denim products, so I need the basic core programs also. Further, since we have a vertical setup, we prefer to use our own fabric which is right now the basic denim,” reasons Sumaiya.
The company, which has 800 sewing machines in denim and more than 500 for knits, is not looking for any expansion in its garmenting division as of now. “With minimum wages going up, it has become difficult for us, as the buyers are not ready to share the burden; rather they keep bargaining to reduce the prices, threatening to move programs into some other country, but inside they know they don’t have many options, as Bangladesh compared to other countries still has cheap labour, besides infrastructure to deliver. We are working on thin margins already, the buyers need to understand that,” reasons Sumaiya, who is planning to reduce the unskilled manpower to cut down the overheads of the company.
Textiles are among the strong business divisions for the group, with a turnover of US $ 75 million coming from the segment. While spinning accounts for US $ 23 million, fabric’s share is US $ 20 million and garmenting contributes US $ 32 million to the division. The Jamuna Future Park, which houses the corporate office of the group, is also coming up with South Asia’s biggest shopping mall and Asia’s largest J.W. Marriot chain of hotels with 800 rooms.